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mick

Worsley Dale Garden Railway

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  Glad you got 10001 sorted. The 20 and 68 look and sound great, with nicely matched coach stock.

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There's a whole host of products you can buy to enhance your model railway. A new loco for perhaps £100, a sound decoder and speaker for possibly a little bit more, a Sealion wagon from a well-known retailer for £54, a coach with fitted DCC lights for around £75....or you could spend a mere £3.99 including postage and do something really worthwhile with your rake of coaches...

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Twelve ready-made bellows type corridor connectors! Now is that £3.99 well spent or what? I think they look brilliant and really give that finished look to your coaches. Purchased from 'fair-price-models' on eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/Fair-Price-Models?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 I don't mind giving them a plug because I think these are superb value for money and although there are one or two not so good reports regarding their speed of delivery I have to say that mine arrived within a few days without a hitch.

The MK3 sleepers above lead me onto my project for today. I've brought out two HST sets, one in blue/grey from my Selby Garden Railway days and another more recent one in Inter City. The blue/grey one had been fitted with a sound decoder in the power car back in Selby but the sound decoder for the dummy power car was sat on my shelf awaiting fitting. Job now done.

I'm only able to run with 6 coaches and the 2 power cars because that's the limit for my stations and I've started removing the old tension lock couplings from the blue/grey coaches and replacing them with Kadees. I began using the same method as with the Hornby MK3 Caledonian Sleepers until I realised that the HST coaches were slightly different. The floors of the coaches are not at the same height and so it's been a bit of a fiddle to get the Kadee correctly aligned. Not only that but the floors on individual coaches are also not identical - I have Open Seconds with different floors despite the coaches being from the same production lot - go figure! Nothing is ever simple in this hobby. Once I get the Kadee's correctly fitted I will be adding corridor connectors as above. I thought it was important to change the old tension locks because whilst they work fine while being hauled they are a pain in the ass when being propelled, although I experienced only one derailment today.

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The InterCity set is fitted with Hornby TTS sound decoders which aren't too bad but I've upgraded the speakers from the factory fitted ones. The coaches for this one have those little DMU type couplings which may or may not be okay when the set is being propelled. I'll have to wait and see with that one.

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Hi Mick, what brand is your two HST's , I always liked the Intercity colour scheme, didn't know you could put a decoder into a dummy loco, the guy I bought the ICE# from said he wouldn't recommend   it  may be because my set is a8 car set, have to wait to Christmas to buy a power unit to replace the dummy,. Our early XPT's Lima and Hornby bought out are based on the HST's, Auscision Models bought out different colour schemes in 87 scale mush smaller train in a 7 car set but very expensive $1300,. 

The sound decoder sounded pretty good, I don't like the sound decoder for the ICE 3's they are pretty loud for an electric loco .

Tony from down under

 

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The HST's are manufactured by Hornby Tony. I've got a soft spot for the Blue/Grey livery myself as it's what I remember from when I first started work on the railway. Yes, you can add decoders into non-powered or 'dummy' power cars - it's nice to be able to hear the rear car as it passes. I've also got the new 'Scotrail' liveried HST power cars too but currently waiting for the matching coaches.

I spent the morning finishing off the Blue/Grey HST coaches from yesterday. It proved to be a bit of a pain trying to get the couplings to match but I got there in the end and have now marked each coach so that they can be coupled the same way in future. For now I've left the outer couplings so that they couple to the power cars but I'll probably end up doing something with them too before long. With the couplings out of the way I fitted the corridor connectors:

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above: between the power car and coach I've retained the standard tension lock coupling for now. Not sure how prototypical it is to have a Western region power car hauling Eastern region coaches but to me it doesn't matter a great deal.

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Between coaches they're all Kadee's fitted to the base of the coach rather than the bogies.

After the HST's I fitted another Hornby TTS decoder to another class 20 and a TTS class 60 decoder to 60087 CLIC Sargent in Colas Rail Freight livery. This loco is one we used to see regularly on the log train when we were out walking near Ribblehead so couldn't resist..

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It's been a long time since this next one has been out of its box and I believe it's the first time since I completed the garden circuit so I thought I'd let it stretch its legs today and see if it rears any problems. It ran without a hitch for quite some time so I'm happy with that as I know a lot of people had to return theirs. 

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I changed things round a bit today so 67024 took charge of the sleeper train

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I still only have one class 67 soundchip and the chassis is not a direct swap with 67004 so instead I swapped the chip itself over and installed a speaker.

Two derailments today, one ending up with 67024 on its side for gawds sake. I didn't see what happened but there was a large clump of Thyme across the tracks and the loco some way ahead of that. We have a pigeon that visits the garden and takes away twigs and other nesting material so he/she may be the culprit or maybe the loco caught up on something. Anyway, no damage caused. The second derailment was caused by the trip pin on one of the Kadee couplers catching on pointwork.  These are the things I need to keep testing for because you only learn as you encounter each problem.

I have another four sleeper coaches so I made a start converting them to Kadee's but then ran out of corridor connectors so they'll have to wait until I get some more.

I've fitted DCC chips to a couple of class 08/09 shunters that will be used solely for shunting the stations and yards. I sent one of them out from Shieling Bridge and it was a good five minutes or more before it arrived at the terminus station!

If you're not cheesed off with my videos just yet then here's another one for you with highlights from yesterday and today.

 

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I'm really enjoying being able to actually work on loco's and rolling stock rather than just getting them out of their boxes, running them for a short time, and then putting them away again. Now I am able to add details, weathering, change couplings, and generally make things easier and more reliable than they used to be. I still have a lot more to do but there's now a chance you'll see some different loco's and rolling stock to those you might have become accustomed to.

In its 'Scottish' guise there really isn't any need for more than possibly 3 steam locomotives. I have penned in my two Black Five's and the K1 for steam workings but there may be the odd new face now and again. I've tended to shy away from one of the Black 5's, 45010,  because of the factory weathering which I really wasn't keen on. I'll say now that I don't have a current photo to show you as it's not yet complete but I've been working on it today trying to remove some of that brown weathering that Hornby chose to coat it in. Using white spirit, cotton buds, and a lot of gentle persuasion, I have managed to clear some of it and so far without damaging any of the underlying black paint or lining. Around the wheels and motion was much easier. I've left the smokebox area because I want that to remain dull but I'd like just a gentle patchy sheen on other areas, though not shiny.

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Seen above immediately before I commenced work, it's really not how I expect it to look or indeed how I would like it to look. I'm going to be using it for steam excursions so there needs to be a bit of 'oily rag' cleanliness about it. I 'm not about to work miracles, just to improve its appearance a little. I've also added a real coal load in the tender which you may see in my video as it's standing in the headshunt at Shieling Bridge with its cling-film wrapping.

Out of their storage box today are six of my Highlander coaches, including the observation car. These are next in line for a change of couplings and perhaps corridor connections. I've also had 24081 out for a run and it has to be one of the best sounding loco's around. I'd forgotten just how good it sounds - a real deep meaty growl that makes some of the so called 'sound' decoders seem like a total waste of money. I still had problems with the couplings on the loco (no surprise there) as plugging a Kadee straight in results in it being too low so I had to cut and glue the coupling pocket to get it correct.

 

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I doubt that anybody at Hornby can remember the working steamers, so don't realise that the wheels were more of an oily black than the dry dusty modern dirt.

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15 hours ago, roddy said:

I doubt that anybody at Hornby can remember the working steamers, so don't realise that the wheels were more of an oily black than the dry dusty modern dirt.

I barely remember them either Roddy but that brown just didn't look right.

I've done about as much as I dare with removing that awful brown factory weathering - anymore rubbing and polishing and I'll be down to the bare plastic and the last thing I want is to be looking at a complete respray! Anyway I think it's starting to look like an engine that's seen regular service but is also cared for.

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As I stated last time, I've left the smokebox area alone as they always seem to be a duller shade to the rest of the loco and I've also tried to polish up the cylinders as they seem to receive special attention from the footplate crew. There's still a hint of brown around but nothing like as overpowering as it was. I just need to spend some time cleaning off those light coloured dried deposits of polish round the handrail knobs and pipework. I tried several polishes before I found one that actually left a sheen on the boiler - I think it's called T-Cut colour restorer - a light green polish. Didn't do as much as I had hoped on the tender but it's not too bad.

The coal load hasn't turned out as well as I had hoped it would. Maybe I used too much PVA as it's formed a ring around the outer edge as you can see above. I might have to take another look at that.

I don't believe any of my other steam loco's have been fitted with a footplate crew but I've ordered 3 sets for the steam loco's I'll be using here. Should make a difference.

 

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17 hours ago, roddy said:

I doubt that anybody at Hornby can remember the working steamers, so don't realise that the wheels were more of an oily black than the dry dusty modern dirt.

Simon Kohler has certainly spoken of his train spotting adventures with his elder brother and is of the right age, as is the CEO, Lyndon Davies. I don't suppose they have actually been involved in applying "weathering " though. I have mentioned to Simon that the tops of weathered locos are too clean compared with the lower parts and he has invited me to return them for further treatment but I declined the offer.

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HI mick, I wont be weather dusting any of my locos, let them fade by age , love your 60 class loco a loco I do like, not as big as the 66 .

Saw a British rail doco on youtube about the new 755, either DMU, EMU, very nice train indeed, motor is in the middle and by the look of sharried bogies , nice train indeed 2019 video clip, I think Deano was saying they had trouble with them when they had the black out, couldn't  restart the train.

Tony from dry down under , Spring only days away .

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10 hours ago, aussietmrail said:

HI mick, I wont be weather dusting any of my locos, let them fade by age....

Weathering isn't to everyone's liking, much like DCC sound I suppose. You either love it or loathe it. Personally I prefer the weathered look and in a similar vein I've been running loco's today that are not DCC sound fitted and it just isn't the same. I did think twice about weathering fearing that I'd potentially ruin my stock but it just seems the right thing to do. I can't see the point in striving for realism on your layout and then letting loco's and stock run round in showroom condition. The Black 5 I've been messing around with over the past few days was one I rarely used but now I much prefer its appearance to my other 'pristine' example. It just looks like a part of the railway.

It was two years ago on Monday just gone that we lost our little Westie dog Charlie and not too long after that I noticed an advertisement where you could have 4mm nameplates made to your specification so I ordered some in his memory. I know, I'm an old softie! Today I finally got round to adding them to a locomotive and of course it had to be a class 37, so here we have 37425 'Charlie Bower'. Just needs the little 'Westie' emblem adding now.

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As far as I can work out, this particular loco was actually renumbered from 37292 in April 1986 and named 'Sir Robert McAlpine/Concrete Bob' in October 1986 until 2001. In 2005 it received the nameplate 'Pride of the Valleys' which it carried until 2011 before the 'Sir Robert McAlpine/Concrete Bob' name was reinstated in 2013., however, there's no need to re-write the record books on this latest naming.

 

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Don't worry, I've not gone on another of my extended breaks - just doing a spot of decorating inside before I can get back out to the layout. There are new wagons to show (you got yours too Iain?) and a sound chip to add to another of my loco's so I'm keen to get cracking.

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1 hour ago, mick said:

Don't worry, I've not gone on another of my extended breaks - just doing a spot of decorating inside before I can get back out to the layout. There are new wagons to show (you got yours too Iain?) and a sound chip to add to another of my loco's so I'm keen to get cracking.

Yep, mine arrived Saturday. Now I need to weather them.

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23 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

...Now I need to weather them.

Yes, I'll have to look up some photo's and see what sort of condition they got themselves into. I got the earlier versions with light coloured underframes.

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I've decided - today's the day I begin the task of relaying the plywood ground level section that connects the two viaducts. I've made a start taking up the worst sections and have to admit that the plywood is in a worse state than I had imagined.

This was the section where I knew some time ago that I had problems.

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And here's the underside after lifting 

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It's not all like this and in fact it looks like I'l going to be taking up some sound sections too but I'm going to go the whole hog and replace it all while I'm at it. There's two decent days of weather forecast so with a bit of luck I'll get it back in order before the rain returns although track laying might have to wait a bit longer. I'm actually looking forward to getting it completed.

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23 hours ago, roddy said:

Have you got the replacement buses laid on? 

Everything's taken care of Roddy!

So, 24 hours into the relaying and it's coffee time once again so chance for another update.

I've worked my way round from the large viaduct to Watch House tunnel and have just gone round sanding down any rough areas. I've had to remove the short paving slabs from above the tunnel as well as the tunnel portals in order to gain better access but these should be easily replaced. The photos below show the new track base after sanding smooth and levelling.

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All the plywood track base from the start of Stack Gill viaduct right through to the other side of the tunnel has now been replaced.

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I'd saved the aerated block sections that I cut out to create the arches in the viaduct (as you do) and so these were cut into thin slices approximately 2cm in thickness and mortared onto the top of the concrete footings.

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There's just the section from the tunnel round to the smaller viaduct to complete now which is less than I've already done so I'm over half way and I can then think about replacing the track.

Which brings me to the question of whether or not to replace the loop? I must admit that I like seeing the double track section but I very rarely use it - in fact I can't recall the last time there was a train in there. Perhaps I'll put it back but leave the points for manual operation rather than messing around with motors again. My tunnel portals and the new over bridge are all double track spacing so maybe it's best to keep it that way.

 

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The entire section of plywood track base between the two viaducts has now been removed and replaced using slices of aerated block. 

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The next task will be to sand and level before bonding on a layer of roofing felt as underlay for the track. That's the method I used over the viaducts and I intend to ballast all this track in the same way as I did on the viaducts so I'll stick with what worked previously. When it comes to landscaping I'm considering a narrow gravel filled border either side of the track to help keep dirt away rather than having the soil right up to the tracks. I might have to look at something other than those log-rolls to act as the border as many of them have simply rotted away. Anyway, that's a job for over winter.

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Hello Mick,
I see, you also turn away from the wood in the outdoor area.
For a track near the ground, the method with the aerated blocks is certainly the best, I've already used these aerated concrete blocks, but more as a foundation for rigid foam boards.

To make the edge of the route with stones is certainly very useful in two ways: Once so rainwater can seep better and on the other you have no pollution of the tracks by splashing water from the ground.

Regards 

Thomas 

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